New Website Helps The Student Trailblazers
If you have never been to university and nobody you know has been to university, how are you supposed to know what life is like there, what options you have for your studies, or even what an undergraduate is? Everybody has been to school and knows what school is like, but universities remain a mystery to many people. As the Government seeks to increase the proportion of 18 to 20-year-olds who go to university, there are many students who find themselves stepping into unknown territory.
The new site at www.uni4me.com aims to dispel some of the myths about universities and aims to raise awareness that universities are now recruiting students of all ages and from all sections of the community. uni4me aims to make higher education more accessible by confronting typical questions from those who feel that university is remote and not for them.
The uni4me project is the joint work of the six universities in the Greater Manchester Widening Participation Partnership. The project, managed by the Open University in the North West, outlines the options available to potential students of all ages and will help to increase awareness of full and part-time opportunities, distance learning and other modes of study.
uni4me also has links to the websites of the six universities taking part – Bolton Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University, the Open University, the University of Manchester, the University of Salford and UMIST.
Potential students’ questions about qualifications, entry requirements, study techniques, costs and student life are all answered at the new site, which will be officially launched by Manchester-based entrepreneur and journalist Anthony H Wilson at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester on Friday, March 23.
The site also includes a jargon buster to explain some of the terminology about universities that potential students could find offputting without explanation. There is also a quiz about university life and a timeline to help students through the university admissions process.
“The launch of uni4me.com is welcome news for would-be students in Manchester,” says Howard Horner, Regional Director of the Open University in the North West. “The site is designed to meet the needs of all those individuals within all groups that are under-represented at universities. We hope that it will become the standard across the country.
“Now is the time to help the trailblazers who are the first in their families to go to university to make well-informed decisions about the options that are open to them. The site should help those who have little or no access to informal sources of information about university life – those people whose family and peers have no experience of higher education. The site will also be a useful tool for guidance staff.”
Project organisers are now planning the next stage of uni4me, in which gateways to higher education providers outside Manchester will be added to the site.
Catherine Boyd, uni4me project co-ordinator
0161 956 6898
Jo Heap, the Open University in the North West
0161 861 9823
Neil Coaten, Open University Media Relations